Gregory Wallis served 17 years in Texas prisons for a crime that he did not commit. Multiple rounds of DNA testing proved that Wallis had been misidentified and wrongly convicted, and he was officially exonerated in January 2007.
On January 6, 1988, a man entered the victim’s condominium in Irving, Texas, after speaking with her for a few minutes. He then raped her repeatedly for two hours in her home.
The victim gave a description to police, but without any leads, the investigation went unsolved. After four months, police circulated a flier about the attack in a local jail. An inmate told the Irving police that Gregory Wallis had a tattoo similar to the description given by the victim. The victim subsequently chose Wallis out of a photo array.
The Biological Evidence
A rape kit was collected from the victim, as well as cigarette butts from her house that the perpetrator had smoked during the attack.
Wallis testified that he was with his wife at the time of the attack. His wife testified to the same.
Michelle Moore of the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office represented Wallis in his request for DNA testing. An initial round of testing on the rape kit at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science in December 2005 showed that 1 in 452 people had the same portion of the DNA profile that both Wallis and the perpetrator shared. At that point, Wallis was offered a deal: he could be released if he would agree to register as a sex offender for life. He declined, wanting to prove his innocence once and for all.
Moore sought further testing in Wallis’ case, sending rape kit and cigarette butts to Orchid Cellmark for more conclusive testing. Cellmark found one consistent profile on the cigarette butts and on the rape kit, and this profile did not belong to Wallis.
Wallis was released from prison in March 2006, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted his Writ of Habeas Corpus on January 10, 2007.
As of 2012, Wallis had received $1,599,695 in state compensation.